Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Salon: Bedeviled Eggs by Laura Childs

The ladies of the Cackleberry Club in the small Midwestern town of Kindred are busy getting ready for Halloween, along with their usual mix of projects while feeding their hungry patrons.

Suzanne, Petra, and Toni operate the cozy café, the Cackleberry Club, and are doing quite well despite bad economy times. Everyone seems to love their delicious food and their egg specialties are a hit. They also offer a Book Nook and a Knitting Nest in the café. The café was Suzanne’s idea after her husband, Walter, passed away almost a year ago. She was joined by her two best friends, Petra who has lost her husband, Donny, to Alzheimer’s Disease; and Toni who has an on-again/off-again marriage to her womanizing husband, Junior.

The ladies are hosting a ‘read dating’ similar to speed dating but where the participants are searching for compatibility based on reading preferences. They’re also participating in the upcoming Quilt Trail, hosted by the local historical society, preparing for Halloween, and a local election.

All seems well with the ‘read dating’ until a shouting match between Petra’s friend, Jane Buckley, and mayoral candidate Chuck Peebler. Time is called to change partners and the evening settles back down. After the crowd leaves, Peebler attempts to apologize for his outburst. Suzanne walks outside with him only to be stunned when an arrow strikes Peebler between the eyes killing him instantly. Suzanne and her dog, Baxter, run for cover as more arrows come flying her way.

Sheriff Roy Doggie is called in and it appears Jane may be the prime suspect. Suzanne is determined to help clear Jane’s name and find the real killer. Soon she finds her life is being threatened and while she and Petra are on the Quilt Trail, a second body is discovered. Trying to put the pieces together could prove fatal for Suzanne.

Author Laura Childs blends together mystery, intrigue, humor, and suspense with a dash of romance on the side. Her characters are interesting and realistic. The ladies of the Cackleberry Club are a prime example of good friends and loyalty.

BEDEVILED EGGS is the third installment in the Cackleberry Club Mystery series, but it is a stand alone book. Even though the story is set in the fall around Halloween, it’s a good read anytime of the year. Who can resist great friends, a cozy murder mystery, a delightful plot, and delicious recipes?

An added bonus to the book is a recipe section in the back featuring such yummy titles as Eggs in a Basket, Crabby Omelets, and of course, Bedeviled Eggs, as well as several others. In addition there is a preview of Laura Childs’ next Tea Shop Mystery, SCONES AND BONES, coming in March from Berkley Prime Crime.

Author Laura Childs’ website is

Bedeviled Eggs by Laura Childs, A Cackleberry Club Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2010, ISBN: 978-0-4252-3823-3, Paperback, 336 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author and publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Thanks for the review, Mason. Another interesting series I hadn't discovered yet. But why do I have the urge for eggs for breakfast?

  2. Great review. Looks like a fun book with all the wonderful elements... mystery and humor....


  3. Mason - Thanks for this review :-). I always like it when a mystery story is told against a real-life, interesting background and this sounds like one of those stories :-)

  4. Linda, this is a fun series and it doesn't have to be read in order. As for eggs, there's even a recipe for an egg pizza that sounds delicious.

    Lou, there are some fun parts to this that make it realistic. There are some funny things that one would expect to happen.

    Margot, this one does have the feel of real-life in a small town. That's another element of it that I enjoyed, the small-town feel.

  5. he he BEDEVILED EGGS what a lovely tittle! :)))

  6. Oh, I LOVE this kind of cozy, but with mystery, too.

    I'll bet it's a book that makes you feel like you're one of the members of the club.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Here's my salon:

    (click on my name)

  7. That's a cool name for a book!

  8. There's something very inviting about the name of that cafe, The Cackleberry Club. I'd like to settle in with this read ...

  9. Dez, it is a lovely title and there's a recipe to go with it.

    Laurel-Rain, you will feel like you're one of the club or at least want to visit the town with all it's wonderful activities (not counting the murders).

    ladyfi, it is a catchy title.

    Joanne, if you're like me when you read the description of the cafe you'll wish you could visit one just like it.

  10. Now that's an interesting twist on the speed dating thing!

  11. This one sounds tempting, and "read dating" - what an appealing idea.

  12. I read many Tea Shop Mysteries of Laura Childs and loved them all but I didn't know about the Cackleberry serie. This book is very appealing.
    Thank you Mason for the post.

  13. I love the idea of "read dating"! And the book sounds wonderful! Having delicious recipes in the back is just icing on the cake! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Love the sound of this book! Terrific concept :)

  15. This book does sound promising. But why is it also making me hungry?

  16. Hi Mason and Laura .. it's a really enticing mix of a good read, a murder, whodunnit, with bedeviled eggs and recipes thrown in .. love the concept - thank you .. Hilary


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